Channeling Dr. Phil

 —  February 8, 2005

If you really want to surprise your girlfriend or wife the day before Valentine’s Day, you can get her Dennis Rodman.

Maybe this is why I should not give out relationship advice. But if you want to see the shell of a great rebounder and defender, a guy well past his prime, Rodman is set to return to the Long Beach Jam of the ABA this Sunday. Tickets are available.

Rodman played for the Jam last year and I went to see him for reasons that still escape me. He filled the seats and pulled down a number of rebounds (14, I think), but it was clear he is no longer an NBA-level player. He got his boards by position and experience against a questionable (and short compared to the NBA) talent level, but he had no hops and his conditioning was unimpressive. Partway through his second game he was reported to by back in the locker-room in tears while the game was still going on — I think it dawned on him he would never be back in the NBA. Tex Winter pretty much confirmed that in the paper a couple days later.

I don’t know what Rodman has been doing for the past year aside playing Celebrity Poker. I doubt he has been singularly focused on getting back to the NBA, and after what I witnessed last year I’m not sure a year of that kind of focus could make a difference anyway.

So if you want to see the freak show, it’s in Long Beach Sunday. Me, I’d rather watch the Lakers and Cavs on television.